Reading during the COVID-19 Quarantine

Katrina Shawver - face maskWhat better time to read than when under quarantine and told to stay home? Reading offers a way to destress, escape or laugh. It can be a family activity to read a book together.  There are still many ways to access books, even with retail bookstores and public libraries closed. They are all still accessible online. Virtual is the new norm.

Skip Amazon and buy books from other resellers if you are in a hurry

Amazon owns a major percentage of the book marketplace. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon is prioritizing shipping for essential items. Delivery times are longer than usual for most books, even for Prime members. Consider purchasing from your local indie bookstore (Indiebound), Barnes & Noble, BAM! Books a Million and others. We may consider books essential – but right now the golden currency is toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products.

Ebooks and Audio Books are stronger than ever

Ebooks and audio books are available for instant downloads once they are purchased. If you are impulsive, or simply don’t want to wait, consider ordering these formats for your phone or tablet. Don’t overlook your public library. Take your headphones and listen to your book while you walk around the neighborhood. Please follow CDC guidelines for outdoor activities.

Libraries continue to Rock and stay relevant. 

Book titles - COVID 19 message

Read all titles left to right. Unknown source probably a librarian. 🙂

Most public libraries subscribe to digital services such as Overdrive, Hoopla, Bibliotheca, and Baker & Taylor. I love holding a book when I read. But I can download ebooks and audio books regularly to my phone or ebooks. The one caveat with digital library services is there may be limited availability or long waits for the book you want. Not all books in their collections are available, but it is worth checking out. (Hint – if you can’t find the ebook edition of HENRY – request your library add it.)

Don’t forget to check out your library’s website for activities, book lists, workshops, and anything else they make available online.

Question: What’s one place you wish you had gone to before it closed?
Answer: The library, to check out as many books as possible.

Meet with your Book Club online

We all need that human, social connection. Restaurants and bars are closed, gatherings are discouraged, and social distancing is the norm. How to adapt? Meet online. Our new lexicon  includes platforms like Zoom, Webex, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, in addition to the familiar Skype, Facetime and WhatsApp. I used Google Hangouts for my book club – it’s more for social gatherings – no time limits and super easy. The point is to keep in touch and stay connected any way possible. There are lots of articles and videos out there that will teach you.

Invite Me to your Book Club! I try to attend any book club that invites me if they are reading HENRY. If I am unable to attend in person, I attend virtually. I have been doing this long before the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact me via the Contact form or email to coordinate.

Just for fun, do you have a favorite Budget Recipe?

Living on a budget, cooking on a budget and similar topics are trending online, especially with so many people out of work. Videos that teach budget cooking (“How to feed your family for a week on $30”) have hundreds of thousands of views. Here is one of my mother’s favorite recipes. Dessert always helps with tough times. Enjoy.

Recipe - chocolate cake3-Hole Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour, 3 Heaping Tbls Cocoa, 1 cup sugar. Sift well and add to 8×8 pan.
Make 3 holes. In each separate hole add: 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbsl cider vinegar, 5 Tbsp salad oil. Pour one cup water over all and mix well. Bake 350 degrees, 35 minutes.

Sending thoughts and prayers to our medical personnel, anyone who has lost a job, or is otherwise impacted by the current pandemic. 

We are truly, on a worldwide basis, in this together.

In friendship,

#QuarantineRead #stayhomestaysafe #bookclubs #shoplocal #indiebookstores #quarantinereads #librariesrock #ebooks #audiobooks #quarantinecooking

Positive Things We can do During the COVID-19 crisis

The doom and gloom of the COVID-19 coronavirus is scary, depressing, and a dangerous reality. We are living in a sci-fi novel, except it’s nonfiction and the end is not written yet. The tentacles of economic fallout are just beginning.

We are in a serious crisis, in battle against an unseen enemy that does not discriminate. But we are in this together. Creativity and positivity are needed more than ever. In my brainstorming, here are some ideas to come together as a community and face this crisis together. I can’t save the world, but we each have the power of ONE.

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The Talking Book Library Changes Lives for the Vision Impaired

Talking Book Library devicesThe Talking Book Library changes lives for the vision impaired. I know. My father-in-law moved in with us at Christmas and we had no idea how much vision he had lost. Just as he is adjusting to the condition of “legally blind,” we are searching out resources to help improve his quality of life. One of the biggest casualties of losing his vision was his ability to read and enjoy books.

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